American Society of Naturalists

A membership society whose goal is to advance and to diffuse knowledge of organic evolution and other broad biological principles so as to enhance the conceptual unification of the biological sciences.

ASN Statement Condemning Anti-Black Racism

Posted on by ASN

The American Society of Naturalists strongly condemns any form of racism, harassment, or discrimination, and wishes to acknowledge the toll that societal and institutional racism has taken on our members of color. The recent killings of George Floyd in Minneapolis MN, Breonna Taylor in Louisville KY, and Ahmaud Arbery near Brunswick GA, highlight police brutality and racial profiling by members of the public, and serves to remind us why the phrase Black Lives Matter is both painfully relevant and important. We stand in solidarity with those engaging in peaceful protests of systemic racism, oppression, and brutality. As a society, we must do better to make sure all naturalists feel welcome, included, and appreciated — including Black Naturalists.

At this time we must stay attuned to the pain and suffering that Black and Brown members of the community are feeling in the aftermath of these horrific murders. We must acknowledge the devastating effects that systemic racism, oppression, and violence have on the safety, security, and health of communities of color. We must do a better job of not simply confronting racism within our daily lives, but actively living as anti-racists. It is also our responsibility to constantly push ourselves, our institutions, and societies to enact anti-racist policies, because the status quo devalues Black lives. We cannot be silent.

This work is hard, and requires changes in our institutions and society. It is essential that the burden of this work not fall primarily on early career naturalists and naturalists of color. Those of us who hold privilege must work to enact change. We at the American Society of Naturalists are dedicated to this change, and commit to the sustained effort it requires.

We also want to hear from you. What can we as a Society do to reduce racism and its impacts? Please share your ideas and/or let us know if you want to be involved HERE. The ASN Diversity Committee can also be reached via email.

Below are suggestions for specific actions that members can take, and resources for people who wish to learn more.

Some actions and resources:

Dr. Susan Kalisz, President ASN, on behalf of
the Executive Council and the Diversity Committee
of the American Society of Naturalists